Science Fiction: The Case for Negative Time

Our Universe is badly in need of repairs. It has been shredded by the “many worlds” thesis of Hugh Everett (1957) [1] and others.

This refers to a measurement in physics. It is claimed that an electron, for example, can be in a superposition of different locations, velocities, and spin orientations. When the electron is finally captured, the experimenter discovers the true location, velocity, and spin orientation. Everett’s thesis was that the world actually consists of many branching worlds, each branch corresponding to different specific values of the location, velocity, and spin orientation. The electron finally lands in the appropriate one of the many worlds.

(My own view is that the electron’s behavior is fully determined by its previous history. Its earlier lifetime was spent with aether particles, which are so small that one trillion of them can fit into the volume occupied by a single atom. In other words, the “superposition” viewpoint serves to hide our ignorance about the sub-atomic world.)

Everett’s thesis is based on the mathematics of quantum mechanics. Although almost nobody believed in the many-worlds interpretation, the thesis committee finally accepted the thesis because of its mathematical, not realistic, demonstration.

Remarkably, today, a goodly number of physicists and cosmologists believe in the many-worlds interpretation. The reason is that unsolved problems have led to the bankruptcy of this branch of philosophy, so practitioners are ready to accept bizarre solutions. Another example is the nonsensical assertion that the Big Bang began with the Universe as a “singularity,” or the size of a small dot. Because of the huge amount of material in the Universe (1080 protons and neutrons), it is easy to calculate that this could fit into a sphere whose diameter is around 7 x 1012 meters (or a radius 23 times that of the earth’s orbit) [2]. The “establishment,” however, believes that special, unknown laws of physics somehow allowed the small-dot birth of the Universe. In the remainder of this essay, it will be assumed that the 7 x 1012-meter sphere is the start (and end) of our Universe, and it is called the Big Big Bang.

Some of the greatest unsolved problems are: What is the Universe headed to? Will it expand forever, leaving behind cold cinder-like residues? But then again, why did it start off in the first place? What brought in the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago? If it was the work of some kind of deity, what created the deity?

The present essay argues that the Big Bang was not a one-time affair; that the Universe reaches a certain diameter, and then contracts until it is the above-mentioned sphere, 7 x 1012 meters in diameter. The cycle then repeats. Of course, this leaves unanswered the question of when and how did the first cycle originate, but that is beyond human comprehension at the present time. At least, in the present essay, the Universe never dies. How, then, can it recover enough energy to keep it “alive”? As the essay title reveals, through “negative time” that comes with special physics in which energy changes are reversed and the disorganization that accompanies increased entropy is reversed.

The grand scheme is illustrated in Fig. 1, which is a plot of distance from the Big Big Bang versus time. At first the Universe expands rapidly, the outer edge going off at the speed of light. Eventually, however, the expansion comes to a standstill when the Universe is 20 billion years old. (This is a wild guess that allows a reasonable drawing to be completed. Present evidence is that there is a kink in the curve because the expansion has accelerated, but this is ignored because it is an unnecessary distraction.)


Fig. 1- Conjectured expansion of outer edge of the Universe sphere, versus time after the Big Big Bang. “Now” is located at t = 13.7 billion years. Time reversal occurs at t = 20 billion years.

Since around 1950, some cosmologists have argued that the Universe is in a steady state. More recently, this group advocates a quasi-steady-state Universe that expands for 50 billion years and then contracts for 50 billion years [3]. The problem is that, as the Universe ages, a great deal of mass-energy ends up in the degenerate form of energy, as heat. During the quasi-steady-state 100-billion-year cycle, expansion and contraction proceed with no restraint on the degeneration of mass-energy into heat. Eventually, this Universe will end up burned out and cold.

The advantage of the negative-time model is that the Universe recapitulates, in reverse, all of the energy changes of the previous positive-time phase. For example, the mushroom clouds of every atomic blast gradually reverse, and finally reconstitute the atoms and molecules before the explosion. And consider that the Universe is governed by four exact laws: those of electromagnetism, gravitation, the strong force, and the weak force; there is no room for randomness as these laws play out. Therefore, the recapitulation is exact, down to the reversal of every electronic orbit.

Figure 1 depicts the locus of two points in the Universe. The upper double curve is that of a point on the outer edge of the expanding sphere; the lower double curve is a plot of the solar system’s distance versus time. Via a wild guess, the solar system is placed halfway down in the sphere of the Universe.

When the Universe is 20 billion years old, something triggers a reversal of time. What could the trigger possibly be? Here the answer is simple: The Universe is filled with aether particles (EPs) that transmit electromagnetic waves (radio, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X rays, and gamma rays). During the Big Big Bang, the EPs are jammed into the expanding sphere, but the number of EPs does not change. As the Universe expands, the density of EPs decreases and the velocity of light accordingly changes (decreases). At the 20-billion-year level, as a critically low density is reached, the system becomes unstable and switches over to the negative-time characteristic.

Here the reader will say “This is just as crazy as Everett’s many-worlds construction, or the singularity point for the start of the Big Bang.” Yes, it is crazy, and I don’t for a second believe in the negative-time model, but it is “the only game in town.” It is the lesser of two evils: the alternative is that the Universe will end up as a cold residue.

My subjective response is that the model is not completely “crazy” because time (and space) is a flexible commodity. Consider two clocks that are caught up in the following example of Albert Einstein’s Special Relativity: Clock #1 is on the stationary Earth. Clock #2 is on a spaceship that leaves the Earth at a speed of 0.8c (240 million meters/second), where c is the velocity of light (300 million m/s). After the spaceship travels for 3 years (according to clock #2 time), the spaceship turns around and returns to Earth at t = 6 years (according to clock #2 time). Amazingly, however, clock #1 shows that 10 years have elapsed! [4] This is the basis for the famous statement that a traveler returns somewhat younger than his/her twin stay-at-home. It can easily be shown to be true with the aid of a simple diagram and simple algebra. In practice, the energy and forces associated with this 0.8c scenario are so huge that the clock paradox can only be demonstrated with atomic masses or small molecules.

Of course, in all of Special Relativity, time is positive, so there is a tremendous difference between compressing or expanding time and letting it become negative.

Eventually, at t = 40 billion years, after the Universe completes its contracting phase, as a critical high EP density is reached, the system again becomes unstable, and it returns to the positive-time characteristic.

Has the concept of negative time been used by other scientists? The answer is “Yes.” Most noteworthy is an entire book that uses positive and negative time: “Electromagnetic and Quantum Measurements: A Bitemporal Neoclassical Theory,” by Tore Wessel-Berg (2001) [5]. The book is written by a genius, but what does Wessel-Berg accomplish? “The amazing fact remains that no known physical laws involving functional development in time are asymmetric. Newton’s laws of mechanics, Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity, Hamilton’s equations, Maxwell’s equations—all are bitemporal in the sense that they permit the operation of time reversal letting t be replaced by –t. It is also interesting to observe that in quantum theory the equations of isolated systems are time-symmetric. The irreversible aspects of quantum theory emanate only through interaction with the macroscopic environment” (pp. 1, 2) and “The inclusion of bitemporal effects lead to an entirely new and dramatically different interpretation of photonic quantum phenomena, completely void of the interpretational dilemmas and paradoxical puzzles penetrating orthodox quantum theory” (p. xviii).

I hope this has “softened up” the reader to the negative-time conjecture. Let’s return to Fig. 1. At a Universe age of 20 billion years, the two loci start to contract in a negative-time mode. All movements are reversed, as in a motion-picture run backwards: For example, automobiles that are speeding along a highway at 100 km/hour in positive time, will speedin reverse, facing backwards, at 100 km/hour, without accidents because they are simply repeating motions that were made during positive time. A person who dies and is sent to a crematorium in positive time will become alive again and proceed to childhood, always walking backwards, in negative time. Music played backwards sounds very interesting and has undoubtedly been used to inspire a composer in desperate need of ideas. Likewise, human speech played backwards is interesting, but unintelligible (much like a great deal of positive-time pronouncements).

A multitude of philosophical questions remains. Are negative-time people conscious? Their nervous system is intact. We have enough trouble defining consciousness in positive-time systems. In my opinion, with the additional burden of nerve signals running in the opposite-to-normal direction, we are left with a robot-like “living creature,” but without consciousness. (Perhaps a child that is labeled “backward” in positive time would distinguish himself/herself in negative time. Probably not, because time reversal does not change intelligence). Because of the four exact laws, when the next Big Big Bang occurs, it will initiate an exact replica of the Universe 40 billion years previous. According to this, each of us comes alive again in 40-billion-year cycles, with a full repeat of this essay, and of man’s inhumanity to man.


[1] Peter Byrne, “The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett,” Scientific American, Dec. 2007, pp. 98-105.

[2] Sid Deutsch, “Return of the Ether,” Scitech Publishing, 1999, p. 131.

[3] Geoffrey Burbidge, Fred Hoyle, and Jayant V. Narlikar, “A Different Approach to Cosmology,” Physics Today, April 1999.

[4] Sid Deutsch, “Einstein’s Greatest Mistake: Abandonment of the Aether,” iUniverse, 2006, p. 63.

[5] Tore Wessel-Berg, “Electromagnetic and Quantum Measurements: A Bitemporal Neoclassical Theory,” Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.


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